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Major drinks companies launch Alcohol Information Partnership to "balance UK alcohol debate"

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Eight global drinks companies have united to form an alcohol information group in the UK, in an attempt to ensure the debate around alcohol consumption remains balanced. 

Eight drinks companies will fund the Alcohol Information Partnership

Eight drinks companies will fund the Alcohol Information Partnership

Diageo GB, Pernod Ricard UK, Campari, Bacardi, Brown-Forman, Remy Cointreau, Moet Hennessy and Beam Suntory will fund the non-profit Alcohol Information Partnership (AIP). The organisation will be led by Dave Roberts, former CEO of trade body the National Clinical Homecare Association.

The formation of the group follows new UK drinking guidelines, published late last month. Alcohol trade bodies have hit out at the lack "common sense" used in the guidelines, with the British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds saying the guide "doesn't provide consumers with a fully objective picture, given that so many studies have shown that moderate drinking can form part of a healthy lifestyle".

Yesterday, Denis O'Flynn, MD for Pernod UK, attacked the newly revised rules, saying the company may only make them accessible through a website or a QR link instead of featuring them on bottles. "For us to accept a position that there is no safe level of [alcohol] consumption just runs counter," O'Flynn said.

The AIP said today that its aim will be to promote the current partnership approach taken to tackle alcohol misuse through "coordinated action between Government, industry, local authorities and NGOs that focuses on education, enforcement and targeted initiatives". The group emphasised that the vast majority of people in the UK drink responsibly and so-called binge drinking is in decline.

"Alcohol misuse is an incredibly serious issue," said Roberts. "As a society, we should continue to have rigorous debate about how best we continue to tackle and reduce alcohol misuse. But the debate has become increasingly imbalanced and characterised by poor representation of the evidence. Too often the facts have been dramatised or exaggerated in order to scare people and skew the debate. 

"The Alcohol Information Partnership is here to bring balance back to the debate and remind the public that having a drink at home or in the pub can still be a part of a balanced lifestyle as long as it is drunk in moderation."


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